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The Newsletter of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies
September 2011

Message from the Dean

My brother, who is not an academic, asked me recently, "What exactly does the Graduate College do?" An interesting question, don't you think? While we work away each day focused on our particular tasks of the moment, we rarely step back and question what it is that we actually do for the good of the university and the Commonwealth of Virginia. After a significant pause, this is how I replied.

The overall mission of the Graduate College is to ensure that all graduate programs meet or exceed standards of quality for their particular disciplines. This guarantees that when a person has a graduate degree from Radford University it represents the highest standards in academe. It has real and lasting value.

We do this in several ways. One is through assisting graduate programs with national accreditation, which I wrote about in a previous newsletter, so I'll not dwell on it here. Another is through the review process of changes in the curriculum for any program. We staff a standing committee of the Graduate Affairs Council that is composed of faculty members who are directors of programs across campus. Any change in a course, in a requirement, in a standard or just about anything of substance has to be reviewed and approved by this group. After its review, the proposal goes before the entire Graduate Affairs Council, which is composed of the program coordinators of all the Radford graduate programs. If it passes there, it goes to me and then on to the provost for final determination.

We also set and enforce standards for faculty who will teach graduate students. Faculty members must demonstrate that they have doctorates in their fields and are professionally active within their disciplines. This means that they are imparting current knowledge and practice to their students. These qualifications get reviewed every five years. Some part-time faculty, who may not have terminal degrees, are also included in the graduate faculty ranks. These faculty are professionals in their fields with unique skills who typically do internship and clinical supervision.

A very important job of the Graduate College is recruiting and supporting graduate students. Students choose graduate programs on a different set of criteria than students choosing undergraduate schools. Students want to know what faculty they will be studying with, what are the career paths of graduates of the programs, when and where the programs are offered and what kind of support is available while enrolled. Graduate students are adults looking to enhance their professional aspirations. We are involved in a number of recruitment activities ranging from college fairs and media advertising to program videos and program information dissemination. We also provide financial assistance in the form of graduate assistantship support to full-time students. This takes various forms and ranges from $9,000 to $16,200 for full-time assistance.

Fundamentally, the job of the Graduate College is to ensure that a Radford graduate degree is respected in the marketplace, maintains its value over time and signals that its bearer has undergone a rigorous intellectual experience. To that end, we are committed.

Dennis Grady, Ph.D., Dean

Nursing School Leads Radford into Ranks of Doctoral Universities
Radford University awarded its first doctoral degrees this summer, an achievement not only for the recipients but also for the university as it joins seven other Virginia public universities granting doctorates. Read more.

MBA Alumnus is New Sri Lankan Ambassador to Netherlands
At the royal palace in The Hague, a Radford University alumnus presented his credentials to Queen Beatrix and took over as Sri Lanka's ambassador to the Netherlands. Read more.

University Again Makes Princeton Review's "Best in the Southeast"
For the fourth consecutive year, Radford University is on the Princeton Review's list of best colleges and universities in the Southeast. Read more.

Who's New on Campus
You'll see many new faces on campus this semester. Here's a guide to the new people you might bump into on your way to class. Read more.

Social Work Master's Program Names Coordinator
Rana Duncan-Daston, associate professor of social work at Radford University, has been named coordinator of the university's Master of Social Work program. Read more.

Bedford Foundation Suports Nursing Student
The Bedford Community Health Foundation has awarded a $2,000 grant to support Radford University nursing student Amy Halterman, who is studying chronic illness across the lifespan. Halterman hopes to complete her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2012. Read more.

Camp for Kids with Autism Teaches Hands-on Learning
Dressed in matching red T-shirts, 30 children crisscrossed campus for typical summer camp activities: art and crafts, singing and dancing, listening to stories told by counselors. The campers were part of the Radford University Summer RiteCare© Clinic, sponsored by the Scottish Rite Foundation for children with autism. Read more.

Team Reviews State Textbook Alternative Project
A team led by Radford University Professor Matt Dunleavy recently completed "Beyond Textbooks Year One," a report for the Virginia Department of Education on a project to integrate iPads into kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms in selected schools across the state. Read more.

Learn About Master's Concentration in Speech-Language Pathology
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree in communication sciences and disorders, with a concentration in speech-language pathology. COSD's graduate academic coursework and clinical education prepare students for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, a nationally recognized professional credential. Watch the video.

MOT Program Earns Full Accreditation
The Master of Occupational Therapy program has earned full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. The approval is significant because only graduates of accredited programs may be credentialed and employed as occupational therapists. Read more.

CEHD Presents Student Awards
The College of Education and Human Development held its annual student awards ceremony on May 6. Read who won!

Alumna Peerman Speaks at Graduate Hooding Ceremony
Carey Peerman '01, an administrator at Radford Health and Rehab Center, was the keynote speaker for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies' hooding ceremony at the university's 2011 Spring Commencement activities. An administrator at Radford Health and Rehab Center, Peerman earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1998 and a master's in business education in 2001. During the hooding ceremony, faculty mentors presented students receiving master's degrees with academic hoods. The hood represents the transition from student to member of the academic community. This spring, 321 individuals received their graduate degrees from Radford University.

New Law May Mean More Students for School of Social Work
A new Virginia law could boost demand for degrees from Radford University's School of Social Work, the school's director said. Read more.

University Hosts its First Literacy Camp
Six youngsters and their parents were on campus for two weeks this summer for the inaugural Radford University Language and Literacy Skills Camp. The goal was to improve the children's spoken and written communication and to teach the parents how to follow up at home. Read more.

Graduate Student of the Month:
Each month, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies features on its website a graduate student of the month. Click the links below to read Q&A interviews with students of the month from May to September.

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PO Box 6928
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